Reporters Without Orders Ep 143: UP mother and child's death, FDI in digital media, Sudarshan TV


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In this episode, host Snigdha Sharma is joined by Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari and Akanksha Kumar

“if you give birth to a girl, we will not let you or her stay alive.” This is what young Pappi Devi’s in-laws told her before she and her newborn baby girl died in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. The conversation begins with Akanksha narrating the young woman’s story and the mysterious circumstances surrounding their deaths. Questioning why no arrests have been made in the case till date, she talks about how the victim’s family had to file 15 complaints before an FIR was registered four months after the incident. Akanksha and Ayush both term Uttar Pradesh as an “absentee state”.

Next, Ayush talks about his report on the sudden shut down of HuffPost India. He labels it as “dramatic” and goes on to add that the website may be the first “casualty” of the new FDI scheme launched by the current government for digital media organisations. The new policy restricts foreign investment in Indian digital media to 26 per cent. Snigdha points out how this further reduces the space for independent media in the country.

Lastly, the panel discusses Ayush’s second story, on Sudarshan News’s show ‘UPSC Jihad’. Ayush explains how the show propagated a conspiracy theory on the infiltration of Muslims in the Indian bureaucracy. He talks about how the Supreme Court ordered the show to be taken off air, saying it is “in bad taste and there is a likelihood that it would produce communal attitudes.” The panel also calls out the government for deflecting responsibility and unfairly restricting the digital news space instead.

All this and a lot more as they talk about what made news this week, what didn’t, and what shouldn’t have. Tune in!

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149 episodes